Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ordinance for the South Avenue East Redevelopment Plan

From Cory Storch, City Councilman, Second Ward, Plainfield, New Jersey
Statement at the December 11 City Council Meeting Regarding the South Avenue East Redevelopment Plan"

Plainfield has become business friendly and is attracting more developers than at any time in the city’s recent history.  This is a positive reflection on the work of city government, especially in the last 5 years.  Have we reached the point where Plainfield does not have to accept developer proposals as is or accept all requests for tax abatement?  I believe that time has come for Plainfield.   We have positioned the city with more negotiating leverage to have our developers give our residents what they want.  In other words development that is not just for the sake of development.
Ordinance 2018-28 is before the Council for approval.  I urge my colleagues to reconsider this ordinance.  It permits the use of retail convenience with fuel services.  We have existing retail convenience at the corners of South and Terrill and South and Leland.  Why would we add more of the same when for many years, all Plainfield stakeholders have expressed a desire for the South Avenue commercial corridor to increase the variety of shopping experiences for residents and visitors.  Why would we permit fuel services in a transit oriented redevelopment area?  Strangely enough a bank without drive through facility is a permitted use.

There is much good in the proposed redevelopment plan for South Avenue East.  We can correct this major flaw by voting not to approve the ordinance and sending the plan back to the Planning Board for revision.  City Council has that power and should use it.
FYI the ordinance passed by a vote of 6 to 1.